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back to article Mozilla's Firefox syncer Weaves out of beta

Mozilla has released the first official non-beta version of Weave, the open source "sync everything, everywhere" add-on for Firefox. The release is the culmination of the Mozilla Labs' Weave project's web-wide test flight, the last leg of which began with the synchronization utility's first beta release of version 1.0 last …

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FAIL

Um, or....

You could make your .mozilla a symlink to a dir on a usb key. It's what I've done for a year now. Just don't leave it at work/home. And EVERYTHING gets "synched"

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Thumb Up

...except when there's no USB

The USB key method is OK for some situations -- I use it to move my TrueCrypted Thunderbird profile between machines -- but it's only of use if every device sports a USB hole. With the web now available on all sorts of internet-enabled but USB-deficient kit, a cloud-based solution makes more sense.

I'm happy with XMarks at the moment but I'll be keeping a closer eye on Weave. It certainly has potential for keeping everything in sync across a whole range of devices (with the inevitable exception of those with a certain fruit stamped upon them).

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Paris Hilton

Ways to protect this cool idea (Windows,) and an expansion

I could see this done with Windows as well, just convert the filesystem on the USB stick to NTFS, use the Encrypting File System (EFS,) and install your EFS key in the other machine's user account. Done. I suppose you could use something like PGP Disk as well, though I have little experience with this.

The nice thing about this Weave add-on is the ability to sync between multiple desktops and mobile devices without the physical necessities. Opera has offered this for a while.

I will be checking this out for myself. I am, however, suspicious of storage in the "cloud" or anybody's server, period. I would like to see the backing store encrypted so that only I can access it (private key preferred over a password,) and/or the option to exclude certain information, such as stored passwords.

Paris, loss lips sync ships.

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Jobs Horns

Sounds somewhat familiar

I suppose the next step will be an innovative and revolutionary integrated personal server with Web 2.0 apps...

PS. Did they ever get Spacial Navigation working in the end? The last I heard they reckoned it would take several years to 'invent', and that was a couple of years ago.

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SyncPlaces Anyone

The SyncPlaces does most of that quite nicely already, thank you.

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Xmarks

Xmarks has been doing the password and bookmark bit for me for quite some time and it's all I need. I think Mozilla were a little late to the party with this one.

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yes, sounds very familiar

I wonder which browser they "borrowed" that idea from

As I've said before, Opera is what firefox and chrome want to be when they grow up :D

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FAIL

Xmarks?

How's it better/different from Xmarks? The great thing about Xmarks is that you can use it with Firefox and Chrome (and also something called Internet Explorer ;) ).

Mozilla are too late....

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We don't all use the same OS all the time

I've been using Weave to sync between OS X, Win7/XP/Vista and Ubuntu, the symlink plan only really works if you stick to the same OS, and don't have a habit of using two Firefoxes at once on different boxes/OSs

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Firefox only?

XMarks.com has a similar free service for syncing bookmarks and even saved passwords. The main difference being that they have plugins for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer and you can sync data seemlessly between all those browsers.

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Is this more than opera does already?

Wow.

Next they'll be launching a mobile browser. Oh, .... now I know where Mozilla gets its development plans from.

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Flame

titles blow goats

Oh yes, they look at what Opera does and then manage a version that doesn't require you to root around in Options screens -every time you want to use it- and that people actually like.

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Oh, go away

Firefox came out in '04, Opera started 8 years earlier in '96. Wow, Opera have built more stuff in more time. Funny how they never managed to get any market share with all that inherent genius...

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Bronze badge

People want this?

I've always wondered why Opera included it. I don't want to view work sites at home or personal sites at work.

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Happy

Yes, some people do ...

I use XMarks (previously known as FoxMarks) like many others here.

One of the great features of XMarks is that you set up profiles (work, home, mobile) and can say which bookmarks are appropriate for each profile.

So my home profile has webcomics, social networks, TV listings, BBC iPlayer and any material I deem unsuitable for work ...

... and my work profile has links to programming resources, online reference works, TheRegister, Dilbert (of course) and all of the important company intranet pages.

... the mobile set includes Transport for London, mobile versions of things like the BBC news pages, puzzles (for doing on the train), mobile friendly social network sites, weather forecasts etc.

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Unhappy

Do we really want....

all of our browsing details residing on Mozilla's servers, even encrypted? I can see the utility, but it's not hard to see the exposures too. Surely we've heard enough stories about "Sorry mate, someone's hacked all your secure data". I think I'll just keep mine to myself thanks.

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Happy

It's pretty secure

It's encrypted on the server, and the key for decryption never leaves your machine. And as it's AES-256, it's pretty secure ;)

Just downloads in an encrypted form, and is then decrypted on the client. This is why you can't do what XMarks does and view it on their website.

Oh, and it's dead easy to set up your own server if you want to. php, and mysql or sqllite

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Black Helicopters

Excuse me if I'm being a wally, but...

If the key for decryption never leaves your machine, how is it portable?

I can see a need for sharing favourites and history and stuff, but I'm not sure I'd consider it "worthwhile" to let the saved passwords leave my machine. Ever. I use this facility heavily as it's all well coming up with good passwords, but with dozens of sites (home shopping, Amazon, webmail, ElReg, MySpace, blah blah blah) it is not feasible to remember them all. So I let Firefox remember them for me. To put this information into the cloud, no matter HOW it is encrypted, is unacceptable. For I could, I suppose, delete this information at a later date - which is pretty useless if somebody somewhere has already taken a copy. The only "safe" option in this case is to change every password on every site in order than a brute-force crack on the password information would be rendered useless, through the information gleaned no longer being valid.

Really, it isn't worth the hassle. I use Firefox on XP for my main work, and Firefox on Xubuntu (boots from SD card with casper-rw) for playing, and those few things for which I do remember the passwords! It'd be nice to sync (I could probably mount the SSD and pull out a file I suppose?) but it is not essential. To sync via a third party server? That just ain't gonna happen.

Black Helicopters because it'll be either them or eastern European criminals interested in my passwords. Nomal people won't care, they'll be too busy not worrying about their own security.

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Happy

it all just works

The key is generated from a passphrase.

Well, It's a /little/ more complex, with the key the data is encrypted with being kept on the server, but encrypted with the passphrase that you provide. but that passphrase never leaves you. Which means that Mozilla never have a chance to look at your data, without having to commit a lot of resources to crack it. (No encryption is perfect. It's all a matter of making it too expensive, or take too long, to be worthwhile)

You need to provide a username, a password, and an encryption passphrase. The first two are used to retrieve the encrypted data. The last is to then decrypt and use it.

Oh, and if you're bothered about storing it in 'the cloud', stick it on your own server. It's simple to set up. And if you're really bothered about mozilla stealing it, well, they have easier ways. like building it into the binary releases of the browser itself.

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Linux

syncing to the cloud

If I had information I didn't want stored in the cloud, then I'd use Portable Apps, or the Ubuntu USB startup disk.

http://portableapps.com

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ubuntu-810-install-using-the-built-in-usb-installer/

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Mozbackup

I use Mozbackup for this, it already supports add-ons and I don't have to worry about all my browsing history and passwords being stored on someone else's server. They say it's encrypted but not what sort of encryption being used and where.

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Bronze badge

Worth mentioning...

...might be that the server is open-source too, so you can run your own if you don't fancy giving them your data.

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Linux

Addon Next?

Now that would be useful.

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Xmark is enough for me

But a version for thunderbird would be nice.

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Unhappy

It would indeed

It is absurd that I cannot take portable thunderbird away with me, then sync my emails into my home database on return. There may be some addon that does it, that I haven't found yet, but this should be elementary, mainstream stuff.

Considering the effort they put into improving thunderbird, this is a sad deficiency.

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